Further scientific enquiries were conducted in 1999 and 2000, at the instigation of the
Crown. These enquiries were conducted by Allen Feraday and Kim Simpson at
RARDE, by Dr Clive Reeves, then of Edinburgh University, and by a team of
scientists from Dundee University. The Dundee and Edinburgh examinations appear
to have been in response to comments made by Bollier during his Crown
precognition; and the RARDE examination was in response to allegations made in a
Dispatches documentary. There was also an examination of the item at Strathclyde
police. There was also an expert forensic report commissioned by the defence.
Details from the movement records re PT/35(b) for 1999-2000 are:
18 March 1999
Taken by Stryjewski and K Bell to RARDE for examination by Feraday on
instruction of Crown Office.
31 March 1999
Returned to D&G.
30 July 1999
Out to Strathclyde police on instructions of Crown.
3 August 1999
2 September 1999
Conveyed by Stsyjewski + 1 to Forensic lab at Strathclyde, receipt 73 refers.
10 September 1999
Returned by Stryjewski and Caldow from Forensic Science Lab.
14 September 1999
Out to Crown – Bollier – by Sutton. Returned the same day.
15 September 1999
Drawn from safe at inst of D Harvie to show to Bollier. Returned to safe the same
16 September 1999
Mr Harvie requests sight of fragment for Bollier interview. Taken and returned.
17 September 1999
At request of Mr Harvie fragment taken to PF office for Bollier to see. Returned the
18 September 1999
Fragment taken to be shown to Lumpert, returned the same day.
24 September 1999
At request of DCI Williamson item shown to Dr Reeves, returned to safe the same
7 October 1999
PT/35(b) and DP/31 taken to Dr Reeves laboratory.
8 October 1999
9 October 1999
Item drawn to show witness Meister at request of PF Watson. [Writing looks like it
might say the item was returned the same day, which would be consistent with other records.]
6 December 1999
Item drawn for examination by NI Forensic team – defence. Returned the same day.
7 December 1999
Drawn for examination by NI Forensic team. [Some wording after this is not clear,
but presumably the fragment was returned the same day.]
1 March 2000
PT/35(b) and DP/31 to Dundee University. [No record of its return.]
9 March 2000
PT/35(b) and DP/31 to Dundee University.
10 March 2000
PT/35(b) and DP/31 returned.
15 March 2000
SPFSL D200 GE [This is shorthand for Strathclyde Police Forensic Science
Laboratory; D200 is a receipt number and the initials GE presumably relate to
Graham Edwards (see notes on Strathclyde Police examination below).]
7 April (2000 or 2001?)
Returned. It is not clear what the year is, as the copy cuts it off. Presumably it relates
to the return of the fragment from Strathclyde police, presumably the date is 2000 as
the Strathclyde report is dated l l April 2000.
Basically the above confirms that the fragment was examined by Feraday in March
1999; by Strathclyde forensic lab in July/August and September 1999; by the
witnesses Bollier, Meister and Lumpert during their Crown precognitions in
September/October 1999; by Dr Reeves in September/October 1999; by the NI
experts for the defence in December 1999; by the Dundee experts for the Crown in
March 2000; and by Strathclyde forensic lab again in March/April 2000.
The movements of PT/35(b) and various other productions to and from RARDE in
March 1999 are recorded in the HOLMES statements of DC Stryjewski (S1138AX)
and Barry Fyffe (S4260D).
The examination by Feraday at RARDE in March 1999 corresponds to his report,
prod 185, which was co-signed by Kim Simpson. This report is a direct response to
the allegations about the fragment that were contained in the Dispatches documentary,
contributors to which were Bollier and Major Lewis. The report addresses the
suggestion by Bollier in the programme that the Lockerbie fragment was handmade
and was therefore from a prototype timer he had supplied to the Stasi; and that the
timers supplied to Libya were stamped out mechanically and therefore were very a precise.
The report points out that the “replica” fragment Bollier had produced in the
programme was around 3 times the size of PT/35(b). The report then addresses the
allegation of Bollier that his technician had sawed the edge of the Lockerbie fragment
and that the saw marks were clearly visible on the fragment. The report lists the
measurements of 18 control sample MST circuit boards and notes that all those that
had the edges cut had them cut by hand and not by mechanical pressing, contrary
to Bollier’s claim. A photograph of DP/118, one of the control sample circuit boards,
is included which clearly shows the curves on it have not been cut precisely along the
The report then addresses allegations made by Major Lewis about the proportions of
the fragment in a photograph compared to a photograph of a control sample board.
The report refutes, amongst other things, Lewis’s suggestion that the curve was not
part of a circle; that the two curves are not the same and that the proportions of the
”land” are not the same. The report also refutes the suggestion that the gaps in the
fragment are different from those in the control sample, pointing out that the gap in
the fragment is in fact midway in the length of gaps on the 18 control samples.
In short, the report appears to deal persuasively with the various criticisms raised by
Bollier and lewis in the Dispatches documentary. Note however that according to the
defence experts’ examination of PT/35(b) they considered the curved edge to have
been very smooth, almost polished, with no saw cuts or other tool marks present.
This would be inconsistent with the conclusions of Feraday and Simpson, but would
also be inconsistent with Bollier’s allegation that the fragment was hand cut. There is
a suggestion by the defence that PT/35(b) was not machine dye cut, that there was
manual input, but that it was possibly machine tool cut and filed down rather than
hack sawed. (See under defence expert examination, below.)
Strathclyde Police examination
The statement of Graham Edwards (S5713A) records that he delivered PT/35(b) and
other productions, including DP/84 (the Togo timer) and other control sample circuit
boards, to Eric Stewart, head of Chemistry at the Police Lab, Strathclyde police, on 30
July 1999 at the request of a fiscal. The statement of Styjewski (S1138AY) records him
uplifting the fragment and other productions from the police laboratory, Pitt Street on
3 August 1989. His next HOLMES statement, S1138AZ, records that he and Stuart
Cossar took the fiagrnent and others to the Forensic Science Lab, Glasgow, and
handed them to Mr Donald Cameron, Forensic scientist on 2 September 1999.
There are no HOLMES statements of Cameron to record the purpose of this. Stryjeski’s
statement (S1138BB) records that he uplifted the fragment and other productions from
the lab on 10 September 99 along with Constable Caldow. It states that the
productions were there for forensic examination.
It is not clear what the purpose was in taking the fragments to Strathclyde police in
July/August and September 1999. However, the resubmission of the items in March
2000 (recorded in the movement record but in relation to which no HOLMES
statements have been found) was again at the instance of a fiscal and a HOLMES
action form relating to that resubrnission records that MST circuit boards were
delivered to Mr Stewart on 16 March 2000 by DS Edwards. The action form states
that Mr Stewart is to “examine all MST boards which have curved sections removed
from the corners. He is to consider what type of tool may have been used & whether
the corners have been hand cut. Mr Stewart also to provide details of the examination
he carried out in September 1999.” The action is written off to the effect that Mr
Stewart is submitting details of his findings direct to the instructing fiscal at Crown
Crown production 1825 is a report by Stewart and Cameron dated 11 April 2000
although the reference number at the top appears to be a 1999 reference and therefore
might also relate to the submission in 1999. The report records control sample MST
circuit boards DP/118 and DP/348 (which comprises 3 boards, 2 of which had cut
corners) as having curves in the corners that were formed poorly and all showing an
irregular edge, whereas the board in DP/347 (which contained only 3 of the 4 boards
recorded on the label, only one of which had cut corners) had curves cut at the corners
that were well formed and had none of the irregularities seen in DP/118 and DP/348.
The report concludes that the curve on PT/35(b) was “well formed with none of the
irregularities that were seen on circuit boards DP/118 and DP/348”. In short it seems
that, as regards circuit boards where the corners were cut, PT/35(b) was more similar
to the board in DP/347 than the other boards.
Dr Reeves’ examination
The HOLMES statements of Stryjewski (S1138BE, BF), Williamson (S872CM) and
Sutton (S2765G) confirm that Reeves visited D&G on 24 September 1999 and that
Reeves carried out a visual examination of the fragment and DP/31; that Reeves
examined the fragments again at Edinburgh Uni on 7 and 8 October 1999, they having
been taken there by Stryjewski; and that he examined the items again at Dumfries on
9 November 1999. The statements also record the movement of various photographs
and images taken by Reeves.
The CP of Reeves records that he had met with members of the Crown team including
Counsel, and had given an overview of PCBs and of his own laboratory. It records
that on 24 September 1999 he went to Dumfries and examined PT/35(b), DP/31,
DP/11 and four circuit boards, DP/347 (which comprised 3 boards) and DP/347(a).
He took notes of these, which were lodged as production 1586. [It is apparent that his
primary purpose was to examine and compare DP/31 and PT/35(b), but it is
noteworthy that he also compared these to control sample boards and there is no
suggestion that he thought there to be any differences between them.] He was later
instructed by the Crown to address two specific issues: provide scientific confirmation
that DP/31 had been removed from PT/35(b); and identify where solder material was
present on PT/35(b). It is apparent that these issues arose out of allegations made by
Bollier in his Crown precognition. He conducted further examinations on 7 and 8
October 99 and his conclusions are in his report, prod 1585. In his CP he stated that,
as regards the comparison between DP/31 and PT/35(b), he observed 16 features
consistent with both productions originating from the same fragment and was of the
view that there were more similarities, but he simply stopped at 16 as this was the
number required for standard fingerprint analysis. As regards the observation of
solder attachment points, he found 3 distinct areas of raised material on the land. EDX
analysis confirmed the presence of lead/tin (solder) and he states that these are likely
to be solder attachment points. There is a fourth possible location where an
attachment may have been made where the laminate had been exposed. All these
matters were detailed in his report (prod 1585).
The DP of Reeves basically confirms the above. It also addresses the issue of solder
mask on the fragment, which is mentioned in Reeves’ report. Reeves explains that he
saw some small areas on the track side of the fragment that might indicate it had
solder mask on it. He stated that this might indicate that the fragment was solder
masked on the track side, or that it was not solder masked on that side but that it was
definitely solder masked on the non-track side and debris from that side landed on the
unmasked side during the course of some extreme event occurring to the fragment, or
that during the sawing of the fragment during forensic examination it was possible
that solder masking from the non track side contaminated the track side. He stated
that there was evidence of solder masking material within the saw cuts. He was asked
how, if the track side had originally been solder masked, it would now have the
appearance of not being solder masked. He stated that it could have been deliberately
removed after manufacture for some reason; or some extreme event may have
occurred which removed the solder masking, although he was not really qualified to
speak about this possibility; or that the track side was exposed to some kind of solvent
which removed the masking.
Reeves was also asked about para 3.1 of his report where he referred to the fragment
having been thinned after manufacture and he said this probably occurred because it
was polished by the prosecution as part of the forensic examination – it ended up that
the board was kind of wedge-shaped in that at one point it was a certain thickness and
towards the edge it became thinner because of the polishing process. It is apparent
from his report that he is referring to DP/31 when he talks of the thinning of the
fragment. It is known that the solder mask was ground down from DP/31 (see
Worroll’s examination on 23 May 1990), which might account for the difference in
width at different points on the fragment.
NI defence experts’ examination
The report by the defence forensic experts was lodged as applicant’s production 21
(and also co-accused’s production 26). It is dated 20 April 2000. It states that it is not
entirely surprising to find only one fragment of the timing device as during an explosion
it is fragmented into tiny pieces, only some being retained in cloth or other
adjacent items. The majority of the others would be vented to the atmosphere during
the explosion or subsequent break-up of the aircraft, and the fragments would be light
so would travel a considerable distance. The report states that the fragment PT/35(b)
originates from the relay pad area of a MEBO MST-13 timer. The damage to the
piece was entirely consistent with it having been closely associated with an explosion.
Detailed consideration is given to the curved edge of the fragment and comparison is
made to various control sample boards, which it is suggested had variations in the
markings of the cut edges. It is suggested that the control sample DP/347 most
closely matched PT/35(b).
The defence experts were satisfied that the fragment was indeed from an MST timer.
In a filenote of a meeting between the forensic experts and defence agents and
counsel, one of the experts confided that the photographs in the RARDE report are
of varying quality and taken at different angles/lighting. The expert is recorded as
having explained that even if the angle of the lighting was changed by 45 degrees
only it could alter the appearance of the fragment drastically. The filenote records the
experts to be satisfied that the same fragment appears in all cases. It also records the
experts as being happy to say the piece they examined was that photographed in the
One expert stated that he had also examined fifteen other MEBO boards, 9 of which were solder masked on both sides, the rest on one side only. He was of the view that the cut boards had been cut with machine tools e.g. cut and then the edges filed. They were not machine dye cut, there was some kind of manual input.
There were inconsistencies and uneven edges, some were even cut with a
hacksaw or similar cutting tool. There was definitely manual and not computer input.
PT/35(b) was not cut with a hacksaw and was relatively smooth, but there was an
impression that something had been used, like a machine tool. It is recorded that
Counsel requested further investigation into how the boards were cut and
manufactured, so that they could be grouped. It is apparent that this was done in the
final expert report, in which PT/35(b) was said to most closely match DP/347. This
seems to concur with the Strathclyde police examination (above).
Dundee University examination
The HOLMES statements of Sutton (S27651) and Stryjewski (S1138BL) record the
movements of PT/35(b) and DP/31 to Dundee Uni on 1 March 2000 and again on 9
March 2000. There are no statements of the individuals involved in examining the
item, but they were all precognosced by the Crown.
According to the CP of Prof Alexander Fitzgerald, he was responsible for drafting the
report that was produced, prod 1816 (DP/625). His CP indicates that the fragments
were examined on 3, 10 and 11 March 2000. These dates are repeated in the Dundee
Uni report. They are not quite consistent with the police records and HOLMES
statements, which indicate the dates to have been 1, 9 and 10 March. He stated that
scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy were used, and the conclusion he
came to was that PT/35(b) and DP/31 came from the same physical PCB; and that
regions were present on the land or pad area of PT/35(b) that indicated that solder
attachment had been made.
Another expert who was part of the Dundee Uni team examining the fragments was
Prof Brim Makin. He agreed with the terms of the report prod 1816. He stated that
his initial impression of PT/35(b) was that it was a tin immersion board, typical of a
type of board produced in small numbers. He stated that it would be relatively
straightforward to fabricate boards of this nature which, with the right equipment,
could be done at home. He was asked if the use of surface mount technology would
be considered advanced in 1985, and having consulted papers he stated that it was fair
to say this technology was in its early stages at that time. He stated that as far as he
was concerned it was evident from both the fragment itself and the photographs in his
report that solder points are present on the land, the quality of workmanship being
consistent with manual rather than mechanical soldering. He stated that from a visual
examination of PT/35(b) it is apparent immediately that the non track side of the
fragment was coated with solder mask.
A third expert at Dundee Uni was Dr Brim Storey, who was involved in the optical
microscopy of the fragments. He described some of the difficulties with this, since
the two fragments were different thicknesses, and a jig and special microscope were
used. He referred to the report, that a significant number of similarities were found
between the two fragments and he said his view was that any reasonable person would
accept that there is no doubt that DP/31 formed part of PT/35(b). He agreed with the
report in as far as it related to optical microscopy.
A fourth expert at Dundee was Yongchan Fan, who basically operated the scanning
electron microscope when it was used to examine PT/35(b) and DP/31 and whose CP
records that he was satisfied that the results produced by the instrument were accurate
and reliable. He was satisfied that the results and conclusions in the report prod 1816
The last individual who signed the Dundee Uni report was Grant Kydd, who was
simply a technician and who could only confirm that the scanning electron
microscope was working properly when the examinations were carried out. He could
not speak to the results or interpretation of them, and a precognoscer’s note states that
he was merely technical assistance and should not have been a signatory to the report.
The report of the Dundee examination concludes that the fragments DP/31 and
PT/35(b) came from the same physical PCB and that there were regions on the land of
PT/35(b) that indicated that a solder attachment had been made.